Twitter updates iPhone app

Twitter's update to its iPhone app brings some welcome changes, but one irritating addition needs to go now.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
Notice the quick bar at the top of the feed. I don't even want to know what the "McLobster" is. Screenshot by Kent German/CNET

Just a few weeks after it updated its Android app, Twitter today sent out a major revamp of its free iPhone app to the iTunes App Store. As with most software updates, there are both good and bad changes here. The former definitely outweigh the latter, but Twitter needs to step in and correct one irritating addition. Here's the full list of changes.

What's welcome

  • A redesigned Tweet compose screen with buttons for adding usernames, hashtags, photos, and location
  • Automatically shortens URLs to 20 characters (I like this, though having the option to use a third-party source would be nice)
  • Auto-complete of usernames and hashtags (my favorite addition)
  • A cleaner interface for uploading photos
  • Find users using your phone's contacts
  • A better conversationlike view for direct messages. The interface now is similar to the iPhone's text messaging app (also very cool)
  • Changes to preferences
  • Bug fixes

What's not welcome
Unfortunately, you'll now find a "quick bar" at the top of your feed that shows trending tweets and hashtags, some of which are promoted. You can cycle through the selection by swiping left to right.

Though Twitter is promoting the convenience of never leaving your timeline, I found the quick bar to be nothing short of annoying. Not only does it resemble spam or a rotating ad, but also I don't really care what's trending at a certain moment. As I said, this is a welcome update, but I hope the quick bar is gone with the next one.